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Globalising Indian firms exploit UK ties and brand


London: The UK is a preferred destination for globalising Indian businesses, according to a new report from Deloitte and CII, the Confederation of Indian Industry.

Eyes Wide Open, the paper published last week, reveals that Indian business leaders see a clear opportunity to capitalise on "Brand Britain" when looking to expand into other international markets.

The report, based on interviews with the CEOs of Indian corporates operating in the UK, finds that Indian businesses that provide goods and services from the UK can benefit from the positive perception that the Great Britain brand guarantees a high level of quality — a key competitive advantage in growth markets.

Deepak Haria, head of the India Services Group at Deloitte UK, comments, "The overwhelming sentiment of the business leaders we interviewed is that the UK continues to be a destination of choice, and provides significant opportunity for Indian businesses to expand internationally.

"In particular, they recognise that Brand Britain can provide a competitive advantage as they export to key growth markets. Interviewees remarked that the strength of the Great Britain brand is consistent across key markets and sectors, including manufacturing and consumer

"This resonates with other Deloitte research which tells us that more than 60% of Chinese and Indian consumers are likely to buy more British products as a result of the positive publicity generated by the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games."

The research by Deloitte and the CII also finds that the UK is considered to be one of the best locations from which to initiate further expansion into the rest of Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Many Indian businesses feel it is an advantage to be located in the European Union, but outside the Euro Zone, creating some distance from the ongoing sovereign financial crisis.

The Eyes Wide Open report was launched at the CII-CBI Conference in London on the theme of 'India-UK partnership in reviving and restoring economic growth'. It identifies key opportunities, challenges and considerations for Indian businesses setting up and operating in the UK.

Chandrajit Bannerjee, director general of the Confederation of Indian Industry, added, "India and the UK share a long-standing relationship that has, over the years, resulted in a natural comfort in doing business.

"An estimated 700 large and small Indian businesses are today doing business in the UK, contributing significantly towards the UK economy in terms of both GDP and employment. Our report suggests steps which will help Indian businesses maximise UK market opportunities, and further strengthen the trade links between the two countries."

Other key findings from the report include:

  • UK status as a European tech hub — Indian companies operating in the UK recognise that they can derive significant benefits from the focus of the current government on encouraging new technologies and the growing strength of the UK's technology sector;
  • Not for the fainthearted — The UK can be a rewarding marketplace for new entrants with a clear long-term strategy and imperative to set up here;
  • Leveraging local talent — The high cost of moving staff means that most businesses only transfer senior managers from India, and hire the majority of their teams locally in the UK; and
  • A leading global financial centre — There was almost total unanimity from respondents that London's reputation as an international financial centre has not been significantly damaged by the ongoing global economic crisis, and that the UK retains its competitive advantage in financial services.

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